Each day, 30 percent of the energy used by commercial buildings is completely unnecessary, according to Energystar.gov. Commercial buildings are responsible for 45 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gases. These statistics show how important it is to make green changes at work. If you’re looking for ways to go green around the office, small changes can make a big difference. These four steps may not slash your carbon footprint in half, but over time you’ll significantly reduce stress on the environment.
Invest in Eco-Friendly Products
One way to make a difference is to purchase more eco-friendly products, especially when making larger purchase. For instance, businesses often rely on TVs, either to train its workers on PowerPoint or other software or to entertain customers and clients. According to Get Direct TV, current packages include various news and business channels to keep your company in the know. The Philips Econova TV is made of recycled materials and operates with a solar-powered remote, so you can add TV access to your business without dramatically increasing your carbon footprint. At well over $1,000, according to Complex.com, this green technology isn’t cheap. A clear conscience and clearer picture make the Econova a worthwhile investment, however.
A TV is just one purchase you can make that can be eco-friendly. Consider using recycled or refurbished products whenever possible. Do you need extra lighting? The Drawstring Lamp adds a touch of color and some additional lighting to your office space, and according to Fast Company, it’s made from recycled fabric. Add an LED bulb to improve the energy efficiency, suggests FastCoDesign.com.
Join the Cloud
Is your business taking advantage of the cloud? If not, it’s likely using a significant amount of paper printing reports and PDFs to work on collaboratively. According to Green Business Women, taking things to the cloud will cut down on your use of paper. Those employees who need to access the document can do so digitally rather than waiting for a memo or handout.
In addition, cloud computing allows you to cut down the amount of energy your business uses. Keeping servers in-house requires higher energy output, warns Cloud Computing Techie. In order to keep the servers cool, companies must run the air conditioning more often. With cloud computing, multiple companies can use the same server, thus lowering this energy output.
Turn the Computer Off
According to the USA Today, each year $2.8 billion is spent on energy to run computers that office workers don’t shut down after work. That adds up to 20 tons of CO2, which is a significant environmental problem. Switch your computer off at night, and you’ll increase its lifespan while also lowering your energy use. If you need to, put a sticky note on your monitor to remind you to shut it off when you leave.